Two Old Chaps

Richard and William Chapman

The monument to Richard and William Chapman can be found on the walls of the Abbey’s Alphege Chapel, in the north-east corner of the church.

Confusion over dates

It records the year of Richard’s death as 1572 (though burial records would suggest that he died in 1579). If the monument were created in that year it would make it the oldest monument remaining in the Abbey. However, it is uncertain whether this is in fact the oldest memorial is the Abbey, due to dates and record keeping at the time. It is believed that this might be the second oldest memorial in Bath Abbey, being pipped to the post by Bartholomew Barnes. It is, however, the oldest date inscribed to have been found on a memorial.

Framing the memorial

The text of the memorial is framed, decorated with carved images. These include carvings of a Tudor rose, Skulls (memento mori), anchors (symbols of hope), and an angel holding a shield originally painting with the Chapman coat of arms.

Bath Abbey Guidebook 2023, p.30 

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